Happy Chinese New Year! Help your kindergartener celebrate by playing a chopstick math game. Learning to use chopsticks helps your child develop her fine motor skills and she'll learn about an important part of Asian culinary culture along the way. You can explain to her that people in China and other Asian countries use chopsticks to eat their food. And, who knows? She may even use them the next time she eats dinner!
What You Do:
- Teach your child how to hold the chopsticks. a) Point to the top and bottom of the chopsticks. b) Position the first chopstick so that it lies in between the base of the thumb and hand and reaches the tip of the third finger. c) Lay the top chopstick parallel with the bottom one and have the thumb and index finger grab it, while keeping the lower one in place. d) Now wiggle the top chopstick while the keeping the bottom chopstick in place. This can be trick but keep at it. Practice makes perfect! And once your child gets the hang of it, it will become second nature.
- Once she's got the hang of it, lay gummy bears on a plate. Have your child use the chopsticks to pick up the gummy bears.
- Have her count the gummy bears as she picks them up from one plate and places them on another.
- Have her sort the bears by color. You will need enough plates for each color.
For a reward, allow her to use the chopsticks to put some bears into her mouth! You can also dine at a Chinese restaurant where she can put her new skills to practice! Happy Chinese New Year!
Tina Cho has been an elementary teacher for 11 years, mainly in the kindergarten classroom. She is currently a freelance writer.